River Traffic (Noise)

Oral Answers to Questions — House of Commons – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 3rd June 1985.

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Photo of Mr Harry Greenway Mr Harry Greenway , Ealing North 12:00 am, 3rd June 1985

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will make representations to the Port of London Authority about the level of noise from vessels passing close to the Palace of Westminster; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Mr John Biffen Mr John Biffen , North Shropshire

The authorities of the House keep in touch with the directorate of marine services of the Port of London Authority with regard to river traffic. If my hon. Friend has any particular point in mind, perhaps he would let me know.

Photo of Mr Harry Greenway Mr Harry Greenway , Ealing North

Is it not unnecessary for certain pleasure steamers to come so close to the Terrace, with the result that noisy bands and sometimes raucous singing drown the proceedings of Committees, sometimes for minutes on end? Cannot something be done about this?

Photo of Mr John Biffen Mr John Biffen , North Shropshire

I must confess that this has been going on for some years and a bit of good-natured commentary from the river does not necessarily do any harm. However, I shall look into the point that my hon. Friend raises.

Photo of Dennis Skinner Dennis Skinner Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee

Has the Port of London Authority sent the right hon. Gentleman any complaints based on the noise emanating from this place and disturbing the people travelling up the river?

Mr. Bifffen:

Again, in terms of entertainment, it is a good two-way traffic.

Photo of Mr Geoffrey Dickens Mr Geoffrey Dickens , Littleborough and Saddleworth

Does my right hon. Friend agree that if the Palace of Westminster were built in Trafalgar square or Hyde Park comer we might have something to worry about? However, as it is situated alongside Old Father Thames, with just a few vessels, tugs and motor boats going by, which is rather lovely, I agree for the first time with the hon. Member for Bolsover (Mr. Skinner) that there is much more noise from this Chamber than from the River Thames.

Photo of Mr John Biffen Mr John Biffen , North Shropshire

Whatever supernatural force has joined those two together, let me put not asunder.